“Just as you saw that the feet and toes were partly of baked clay and partly of iron, so this will be a divided kingdom; yet it will have some of the strength of iron in it, even as you saw iron mixed with clay. As the toes were partly iron and partly clay, so this kingdom will be partly strong and partly brittle. And just as you saw the iron mixed with baked clay, so the people will be a mixture and will not remain united, any more than iron mixes with clay…In the time of those kings, the God of heaven will set up a kingdom that will never be destroyed, nor will it be left to another people… (Daniel 2:41-44)
This image represents the timeline of Gentile powers: Babylon, Medo-Persia, Greece and Rome. The toes are found at the base of the image and represent the church-state systems that followed Rome’s fall. It is in the “days of those kings” that God’s never ending kingdom will grind the entire image to powder.
Ten toes may represent a “full number” of nations. We need to evaluate what we do know about them – that iron (civil power) and clay (religious powers who claim God’s authority) do not adhere well. Therefore, when church and state did unite as the Holy Roman Empire, Byzantium, etc. the unions were weak.
All of the earthly Gentile kingdoms are the kingdoms of men. Jesus declared that Satan is the Prince of this world, and that all these are under Satan's princeship. (John 14:30, Revelation 11:15.) It is prophesied that during the great “time of trouble,” national animosities will grow until “every man’s hand (will be) against his neighbor” (Ezekiel 38:21). Our Savior prophetically declared, “Unless those days should be cut short, no flesh would survive” (Matthew 24:22). The Bible assures us that coming through revolution and anarchy, the world will be saved from its madness by the establishment of Messiah’s kingdom – “He shall make wars to cease unto the ends of the earth” (Psalm 46:9).